Prison lingo

Celly: A prisoner’s cellmate.

Chicken coup: Protective custody. An inmate can check himself into the chicken coup if he feels threatened by other inmates.

Chow: (1) A meal. (2) The prison cafeteria.

Commissary: (1) Where inmates buy food and personal supplies—kind of like a general store. (2) Food purchased by inmates.

Count: A time when all inmates are counted. In Gideon’s prison, inmates are counted three times per day to ensure no one has escaped.

House: An inmate’s cell.

Monkey washer: A gang leader.

Shipped: When an inmate gets transferred to another prison.

Stinger: A homemade device (usually from the electrical components of a lamp or other small appliance) used to make whiskey in prison.

Store: Commissary items an inmate sells for profit.

Shakedown: An extensive search by guards, often resulting in items being strewn about an inmate’s cell.

The hole: Solitary confinement. Prisoners are often put in a room by themselves for days or weeks at a time because of bad behavior.

The yard: An area where inmates can go outside to exercise or get fresh air.

3 thoughts on “Prison lingo

  1. Pingback: When hope looks like a pancake | Escaping the Walls

  2. Pingback: Gideon tries to evict filthy cellmate | Escaping the Walls

  3. Pingback: Revealed: Hidden costs of incarceration burden inmates’ families | Escaping the Walls

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